December’s film examines feminine determination, patriarchal authority, bureaucratic corruption and superstition in rural India. The drama unfolds in a breathtakingly beautiful Himalayan community which commingles South Asian and Swiss Alps aesthetics.
Join us on Sunday, December 11, 2022, at 10 a.m. for Fire in the Mountains as Cinema Art Bethesda continues IN-PERSON screenings at the Landmark Bethesda Theater.
Fire in the Mountains digs into the cultural clash within a family as a mother Chandra (played by Vinamrata Rai) toils to save money to build a road to their remote Himalayan village to take her wheelchair-bound son for physiotherapy, even as her husband Dharam (Chandan Bisht) believes that a shamanic ritual is the only remedy for their son’s ailments, which Dharam attributes to a deity’s curse.
The couple runs the “Swizerland Homestay,” an inn that hovers high above the only road in a small, scenic Himalayan village. The terrain poses a problem because the family must transport their son Prakash (Mayank Singh Jaira) down the mountain in his wheelchair to go to the doctor and to school. Tensions increase as the couple’s worldviews collide and slowly erode their familial ties.
Self-taught writer-director Ajitpal Singh, in his debut feature, has created a searing portrait of the power dynamics at play between tradition and modernity in one family’s fundamental beliefs. With handheld camerawork and seamless tracking shots, Singh vividly captures the beauty and hardship of their daily lives.
The film runs for 1 hour 24 minutes; dialog in Hindi with English subtitles. On Rotten Tomatoes, Fire in the Mountains received an 88% Tomatometer score and a 100% Audience score.
More Details about FIRE IN THE MOUNTAINS
Review: New York Times by A.O.Scott: “The Mother of All Struggles”
Review: Variety by Tomris Laffly: “The Story of a Headstrong Rural Woman Battling Tradition Has Quiet Power”
Review: RogerEbert.com by Carlos Aguilar: “Self-assured woman standing up against the inflexibility of entrenched superstition”